Venezuela: Temporada de golpes

Reseña a MONDOLFI GUDAT, Edgardo, Temporada de golpes. Las insurrecciones militares contra Rómulo Betancourt, Caracas, Editorial Alfa, 2015, Revista de Indias, Vol. LXXVII, n°269, 2017, pp. 337-353.

 

Autor de reconocida trayectoria en temas de historia contemporánea de Venezuela especialmente en su vertiente diplomática (relaciones con Gran Bretaña), Edgardo Mondolfi Gudat aborda en esta entrega otro capítulo de difícil acceso para el investigador que se enfrenta habitualmente a la dificultad de consultar archivos relativamente recientes —como lo son archivos militares, especialmente los relacionados con el Consejo de Guerra— y en todo caso “sensibles”, en el sentido de los ecos persistentes que vienen despertando en el tiempo presente. Al contrario, y como bien se evidencia aquí, la dificultad radicó en seleccionar testimonios fidedignos entre las innumerables memorias, libros y folletos que apuntan a justificar más que a relatar, entre publicaciones oficiales y aportaciones hemerográficas, crónicas y reportajes, para luego interpretar acontecimientos no siempre transitados por los especialistas en la materia y hasta opacados por la historia oficial de turno. Los archivos privados, así como por ejemplo el de Santiago Gerardo Suárez, o de instituciones (de la Fundación R. Betancourt) suplieron en gran parte esta dificultad como se indica en las primeras páginas de la obra.

Está por demás decir que, entro de los aportes novedosos hechos en el transcurso de estos últimos años a la historia contemporánea de Venezuela y por estas mismas razones, el “tema” Betancourt ocupa un lugar destacado. En El día del atentado. El frustrado magnicidio contra Rómulo Betancourt (Caracas, Alfa, 2013), E. Mondolfi había desentrañado el significado del atentado perpetrado en junio de 1960 en contra del “padre de la democracia”, ubicándolo a ciencia cierta en el contexto internacional de la época y más precisamente en el ámbito caribeño (liderazgo democrático de Betancourt versus dictadura de Trujillo).

Con este libro, se adentra en uno de los aspectos más controvertidos de la historia republicana de Venezuela después de la caída de la “dictablanda” de Pérez Jiménez y el pacto de Punto Fijo (1958) (…)

Para seguir leyendo: http://revistadeindias.revistas.csic.es/index.php/revistadeindias/article/view/1046/1118

The Dominican Intervention 1965

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 513
Edited by David Coleman

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2015
LBJ Regretted Ordering U.S. Troops into Dominican Republic in 1965 (…) Dominican Intervention 50 Years Ago Sparked Mainly by Fear of Communists: “I Sure Don’t Want to Wake Up … and Find Out Castro’s in Charge,” President Said
New Transcripts of Key White House Tapes Clarify and Illuminate LBJ’s Personal Role in Decision-Making during the Crisis

– President Lyndon Johnson regretted sending U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic in 1965, telling aides less than a month later, “I don’t want to be an intervenor,” according to new transcripts of White House tapes published today (along with the tapes themselves) for the first time by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
Johnson ordered U.S. Marines into Santo Domingo 50 years ago today. Three weeks later, he lamented both that the crisis had cost American lives and that it had turned out badly on the ground as well as for the United States’ – and Johnson’s own – political standing. Nevertheless, he insisted he would “do the same thing right this second.”
In conversations with aides captured on the White House taping system, Johnson expressed sharp frustrations, including with the group surrounding exiled President Juan Bosch, whom the United States was supporting. Speaking in late May 1965, Johnson told an adviser, “they have to clean themselves up, as I see it, where we can live with them. Put enough perfume on to kill the odor of killing 20 Americans and wounding 100.”
Johnson’s public explanation for sending the Marines into Santo Domingo was to rescue Americans endangered by civil war conditions in the Dominican Republic. But his main motivation, the tapes and transcripts confirm, was to prevent a Communist takeover. Basing his decision largely on assertions by the CIA and others in the U.S. government that Cuba’s Fidel Castro had been behind the recent uprising, Johnson confided to his national security advisor, “I sure don’t want to wake up … and find out Castro’s in charge.”
That intelligence, along with other information Johnson received during the crisis, turned out to be erroneous – a possibility LBJ himself worried about at the time.
The tapes, transcript and introductory material presented in this posting were provided by David Coleman, former chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, and a Fellow at the National Security Archive. As Coleman notes, the materials are revelatory about Johnson’s personal conduct of the crisis and his decision-making style as president. The transcripts, in several cases newly created by Coleman, are crucial to understanding the material on the tapes, which can be hard to decipher and are therefore often of limited usefulness on their own to researchers (…)
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB513/

RELATED SITES
Telephone Conversations Collection at the LBJ Library
LBJ White House Recordings at the Miller Center, University of Virginia

For more on this context, see: Randall B. Woods, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007), p.633; Alan McPherson, “Misled by Himself: What the Johnson Tapes Reveal About the Dominican Intervention of 1965,” Latin American Research Review, Vol. 38, No. 2 (June 2003): 127-46